The top 5 politically charged squares in Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
German pianist Davide Martello and Turkish musician Yiğit Özatalay performed a joint piano concert in Taksim Square in support of the Gezi Park protesters on June 12, 2013.
Istanbul’s No. 1 public square, Taksim, appears to be counting down to fresh clashes, after
a senior Turkish labor leader said thousands of union members were determined to celebrate International Labor Day there on May 1. This despite the fact that the authorities have refused to open the traffic-less square to any event.
1) Taksim: A political hotspot since the 1970s...At the heart of “westernized” Istanbul, Taksim Square has been a political hotspot since the late 1970s when labor unions organized the first mass rallies. On May 1, 1977, around 500,000 citizens packed the square for Labor Day celebrations. Unknown assailants believed to be from the deep state fired at the crowd, and a subsequent police intervention drove the number of death to at least 34 in total.
In recent memory, Taksim Square hit international headlines during and after the May-June Gezi 2013 protests, which were triggered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's insistence to build a shopping mall in the form of a long-gone Ottoman barracks in the park, which is immediately adjacent to the square.
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